Fitness & Wellness

Eat, Drink And Be Healthy

Eat, Drink And Be Healthy

If you want to be healthy, you must eat healthy food and that includes what you drink. While there are so many factors that can determine whether you’ll be healthy or not, exercising and eating/drinking healthy are two of the most important. That’s especially important since these are factors that you can control. Today, obesity has reached the level that it’s number one on the list of factors in preventable diseases. Changing your eating habits doesn’t have to be hard. It all starts with one small change.

Changing what you drink is as important as changing what you eat.

If you drink carbonated drinks, coffee with cream and sugar, fruit juice or even alcoholic beverages with any regularity, you’re adding both extra calories and often health risks. Not only are some soft drinks nothing more than sugar, carbonated water and flavoring, they all contain a high amount of sodium—-even diet drinks. Although diet drinks don’t contain sugar, they do contain artificial sweeteners that can be just as bad for your health. Considering one can of cola is about 140 calories, if you drank two cans of cola a day, by switching to water you could lose a pound in less than two weeks without any other changes to your diet. That’s pretty amazing and one quick and healthier because you’re also cutting down on sugar, too.

Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet.

Adding more green will keep you lean. While you should add more fruit and vegetables, there are also two extra rules to follow. Add more vegetables than fruit. You should have between two and two and a half cups of vegetables and just one and a half to two cups of fruit per day. Don’t forget, you need a good source of protein and healthy fat, too. Both fill you up and keep you feeling fuller longer.

Set yourself up for successful healthy eating.

Okay, if you’re ravenous about nine o’clock at night, it’s not really a good time to eat, but if you must, make sure you have healthy snacks available. Throw out or simply don’t buy unhealthy options. Have healthy ones ready instead. Cut up fresh fruit and vegetables and have them ready for snacks. Have some yogurt based vegetable dip to add some protein. If you have a cantaloupe cut up in bite size squares, people tend to eat it. Have nuts ready to eat in individual portion bags. A sliced apple with a teaspoon of nut butter is a healthy option, too.

  • Cutting out added sugar can be difficult, but well worth it for good health. While you’re doing it, keeping a supply of fresh grapes, cherries or other sweet fruit can help.
  • Make sure your meals and snacks have a source of protein. While carbs from vegetables give you an energy boost immediately, the protein will keep you full longer.
  • Remember, you don’t have to give up your favorite food forever, even if it isn’t the healthiest. Just eat it far less frequently and remember portion control.
  • Learn to make substitutions to lower calories and improve nutrition. Something as simple as using Greek yogurt on your baked potato can be easy, yet effective.

Choose Veggies

Choose Veggies

People in Irvine, CA, who are the most successful at weight loss choose veggies to dominate their menu. One reason for that is their fiber to calorie ratio. They’re high in filling fiber compared to their relatively low calorie count. They also have more water compared to lower sugar. That means they fill you up before you’ve consumed enough calories to gain weight.

Some vegetables qualify more as a starch than a vegetable.

There are also some vegetables that are better for weight loss. Vegetables like legumes—chickpeas, lentils, peas, kidney, pinto, navy and black beans—potatoes and corn should be considered starchy food, rather than vegetables. Unlike foods considered vegetables, you can’t consume them as freely as you can the rest of the vegetable family. While all vegetables contain fiber, including starchy vegetables, and all vegetables contain nutrients, starchy vegetables are higher in calories, so you may limit the amount you eat if you want to lose weight.

Both fruit and vegetables should be part of your diet.

Vegetables and fruits should play a prominent role in your diet. Because of the higher sugar content in fruit, rather than eating 2 to 2 ½ cups as you would vegetables, you should limit your fruit intake to 1 ½ to 2 cups a day. Both fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, which can lower blood cholesterol. Consuming fruits and vegetables can lower your risk of some types of cancer and heart disease, reduce the potential for type 2 diabetes and both fruits and vegetables provide phytonutrients and chemicals that help keep you younger and delay illness.

Fill up on veggies, but don’t forget fats and protein foods.

Choosing to put more veggies on your plate and eating those first will certainly help you live healthier and be healthier, but you also need protein and fat. Whether you’re a vegetarian or an omni Varian, you still need the building blocks to create a healthy body. Lean chicken, beans, eggs, cottage cheese and seafood are a few sources of protein. Healthy fat comes from avocados, cheese, fatty fish and nuts, just to name a few sources. Some of the protein sources and fat sources overlap other categories, including vegetables.

  • Eating more vegetables means getting more fiber. Fiber not only helps keep you regular, it also helps you eat less, live longer, keep blood sugar regulated and lower cholesterol.
  • Women of childbearing ages should definitely eat more fruits and vegetables to benefit from the folic acid they contain. Folate helps prevent birth defects.
  • Eating whole veggies and fruit, as opposed to taking a pill or consuming processed foods, provide a spectrum of nutrients that act in synergy to boost good health at the cellular level.
  • Creating a colorful plate of fruits and vegetables can provide most of the nutrients the body needs, since each color represents different vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.

How To Reduce Belly Fat

How To Reduce Belly Fat

One of the biggest problems faced by many women who come into the gym is the accumulation of fat around the middle, especially on the belly. You can reduce belly fat and get those flat abs everyone wants, but it takes more than just exercise to do it. Belly fat is viscous fat, which is the unhealthiest type of fat that’s also the toughest to eliminate. Getting rid of it means making several lifestyle changes.

Start with a program of healthy eating.

Healthy eating isn’t dieting, but you’ll achieve your proper weight when you do it. It means eating more whole foods and eliminating processed foods that contain harmful substances, like preservatives and other additives, but very little fiber or nutrition. Healthy food, such as fresh vegetables and fruit, is high in fiber, which can help improve your digestive system and eliminate some of the bloating. Cutting out food high in sugar is also important. Don’t forget that what you drink makes a huge difference. Even diet soft drinks have been proven to add inches around the middle and accumulate belly fat.

Workout regularly.

While there’s no way to do spot exercises that just makes the fat disappear around the belly, exercising does take the weight off your entire body and tones your muscles to give you a slimmer appearance. Focus on complex exercises that get more muscles involved. Strength training is another way to burn huge amounts of calories, just as HIIT—high intensity interval training—is. While doing abdominal exercises will help tone your muscles, so will doing HIIT resistance workouts or using kettlebells. The key is losing weight. No matter how great your abs are, if they’re covered with a layer of fat, nobody will see them.

Cut out the stress.

One benefit of exercise that people often fail to acknowledge is that it burns off the hormones of stress. Stress can actually cause the accumulation of belly fat. That’s right! Cortisol, one of the hormones produced by stress has been associated with the accumulation of fat on the abdomen. Not only should you workout regularly to burn off stress, consider ways to deal with stress before it affects you, such as deep breathing or meditation.

  • Eat more lean protein. Studies show that people who eat more lean protein tend to have less belly fat than those that don’t. Protein increases your metabolism and makes you feel full longer.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep messes with the hormones that make you feel hungry or full. It increases the hunger hormones and reduces the ones that give a feeling of satiety.
  • Drink plenty of water. Not only will extra water help flush your system, it can also satisfy hunger pangs. Often people mistake feeling thirsty for being hungry, which can cause an increase in caloric intake. Drinking cold water actually burns calories without adding any.
  • Studies show that adding apple cider vinegar to your daily diet may actually reduce belly fat. In one study, men who drank a tablespoon in a glass of water daily reduced their waistline by a half inch in a twelve week period without any other changes.

Lean Muscle Workouts

Lean Muscle Workouts

No matter where you live, if you’re working out, you probably want to burn fat and build muscle tissue. Clients in Irvine, CA, who want to lose weight, often use a personal trainer to learn lean muscle workouts that help them do both. While doing any type of workout will help you lose weight, not all workouts will help you build muscles at the same time. Building muscle tissue is important. The more muscle tissue you have, the easier it is to keep weight from returning in the future. Muscle tissue requires more calories for maintenance than muscle tissue does.

It all starts with a good strength building program.

Cardio workouts do burn calories, but those calories come from both fat and muscle tissue. It actually can reduce the amount of muscle tissue you have and lower your metabolism. Strength building exercises, like lifting weights also burns calories, but it builds muscle tissue at the same time. The effects of workout increase your metabolism for hours after the workout, too. What are the best lean muscle tissue building exercises? The best ones are the ones you do consistently. Do weight training two to three times a week. Don’t do strength training every day. Give yourself a day or two rest in between strength training sessions.

Strength training can include pumping iron, resistance bands, HIIT workouts, bodyweight exercises or even power yoga.

While pumping iron is often what people initially identify as strength training, lifting weights is just one way to build lean muscle mass. HIIT workouts can give you an aerobic workout, while you’re building muscle tissue, too. You can even vary it to include flexibility training. Bodyweight exercises are excellent for muscle building, particularly for those who can’t make it to the gym. Resistance bands are also an inexpensive, easy to store addition to anyone’s at home workout. They’re great if you travel frequently.

Strength training should include both isometric and isotonic exercises.

Isometric exercises include the plank or a glute bridge. Isotonic workouts are squats, crunches and pushups. In isotonic exercises the muscles change length, while in isometric exercises, they don’t change length as they work against a force, think plank where you hold the position. Alternate your workout based on how you feel. If your joints are feeling stiff and sore, choose the isometric workouts where you get into position and hold.

  • Don’t worry about increasing weights, increasing reps works just as well. You can get results from either increasing weight and doing the same number of reps or increasing reps. Both methods provide the same results.
  • When you do compound workouts, you’re burning more calories, while building lean muscle tissue for several muscle groups. Think squats, pushups and deadlift.
  • If you can’t do the exercise yet, modify it until you’re stronger. If you haven’t worked out in a long time, some of the best workouts for lean muscle mass might be too difficult. Work your way up to them. Do modified, bent-knee pushups until you can do regular ones or step ups before box jumps.
  • Improve your diet. Eating a healthy diet is important to build lean muscle mass. You need extra protein, but also all the nutrients necessary for building muscle tissue. That means plenty of vegetables and fruits.

Get Rid Of Inner Thigh Fat

Get Rid Of Inner Thigh Fat

There’s no way to do a spot exercise and expect fat to come off just that spot. It’s true whether you’re talking about belly fat, inner thigh fat or fat on your booty. When you lose weight, it comes off your entire body, no matter how many spot exercises you do. However, exercise can tone the muscle under the fat to give some of the results you’ve hoped to achieve. It won’t make you lose weight just on your inner thighs, but will help improve the appearance.

Start with a healthy diet.

A healthy diet isn’t dieting. Dieting means sticking with a strict regimen of food. You often feel hungry or deprived when you diet. However, when you eat healthy, you’re simply making smarter choices when it comes to food. Instead of using sour cream on your baked potato, you use Greek yogurt. It means eating more fresh fruits and vegetables and eliminating processed food. Processed food often means empty calories and additives that increase the calorie count, like high fructose corn syrup, which seems to be in almost all processed food. Foods you might consider healthy, like applesauce, salad dressing, canned fruit, protein bars and cocktail nuts even have it, so switch to whole foods to make life simpler and get rid of fat quicker.

Get more cardio throughout the week.

Set your sights to increasing your exercise. While you need strength training, which helps build muscle tissue as you burn calories, increasing your overall activity will help you slim, not only your thighs, but your whole body, too. Find ways to walk more. Park further from the grocery. Walk to lunch rather than drive. Take the steps and not the elevator. It will work your legs, while burning more calories to get rid of body fat.

Use specific exercises to strengthen the muscles of the inner thighs.

Ballet is a good way to strengthen the muscles of the inner thighs. Think a plie squat with a wide-legged position. Lunges, step-ups, squats and even squeezing an rubber ball between the knees can tone and tighten those inner thigh muscles. If you don’t have an exercise ball, you can do that exercise without one. Sitting on a chair with your knees apart, put the palm of your hands against the inside of each knee. Use your hands as an opposing force as you try to bring your knees together.

  • Remember, you may be able to become the best you, but that doesn’t mean you’ll change your basic body shape. You can tone your body and make your entire body slimmer.
  • Find ways to make simple exercises give better results. If you’re doing squats, make it tougher. Use a child’s rubber ball to help. Put it between your legs, right above the knee and keep it in place as you squat.
  • Roll up a thick beach towel or use a rubber ball. Lay on your back with your feet flat on the floor. Put the towel or ball between your knees and squeeze. Hold for thirty seconds, relax, repeat four times.
  • Raise up on your toes and lower yourself to squatting position without letting your heels touch the ground. It’s hard. Use a table or chair for balance if you need to do it.

Smart Ways To Food Prep

Smart Ways To Food Prep

If you’re trying to lose weight or just get out of the junk food habit, menu planning and food prep should be top priority. Too often plans for healthy eating go down the drain the first time you have to stop at the store on the way home from work or can’t figure out what to make for supper. Instead of getting groceries, getting take-out sounds a lot better! That’s easy to understand in today’s busy world. Here are some ways to avoid that hassle and make eating healthy a breeze.

Take an hour to save money and time.

Choose one day a week to go through the weekly ads, find out what’s on sale and plan meals accordingly. Use in-season fruits and vegetables to save money and even foods on sale or coupons. Plan your menu to use ingredients from previous meals and plan to make double meals. By making twice as much as you need, you’ll have food left over to put in trays and freeze for another meal. That saves time in weeks to come.

Pick one day to shop and make that trip after you’ve eaten.

Create your shopping list and stick with it. It’s easier if you already ate. Make sure you have all the ingredients you need for the meals, so you don’t have to go back later to the store. If you want to get the kids involved, let them choose some of the food. For instance, if you’re having berries in yogurt for a snack, let them choose from blueberries, strawberries or peaches for the fruit. You give them a choice, but from a specific group of food.

Make the meals over the weekend.

It isn’t easy at first, but after a few weeks, cooking for the week will be a breeze. When you cook, double the recipe so you have enough for two meals. Freeze one meal, or even part of the meal, to use for a later meal. After a few weeks, you’ll have enough in your freezer to provide a few days of meals and you’ll have to cook far less each week.

  • You can get meal freezer containers for a reasonable price that makes storage and use far easier. They have separate compartments and a freezer tight lid so all you have to do is warm the meal in the microwave.
  • Make sure you have plenty of healthy snacks available. One key is to wash and prepare fresh fruits and vegetables and have them ready to eat. You can use some of these for meal prep and some for snacks.
  • Don’t forget soup. If you can’t use all the fruits and vegetables you chopped, don’t worry! You can also create soup and throw them into it. Leftover bones also make a great bone broth.
  • Learn to make substitutions. Some simple ones are using wild rice or brown rice instead of white rice to lower calories and increase nutrition or using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.

How To Find The Right Diet

How To Find The Right Diet

Most of our clients in Irvine, CA, use their trainer and our expertise to find the right diet, if you’re working on your own, it’s not nearly as easy. Before you begin, you need to know what a healthy diet consists of and what your personal goals are. We consider food sensitivities, so should you. No matter how great a specific food is, if it doesn’t agree with you, it shouldn’t be part of your diet. There are some basics for any healthy diet.

Ditch the processed and embrace whole foods.

Processed foods have most of the nutrients removed while processing. They also contain chemicals to add to the shelf life of the food. The first change to make is to eliminate processed foods and focus more on whole food. It takes more creativity because you have to prepare the food, but you’ll find there are easy to find recipes online. Make your selection a rainbow of colors. Fruits and vegetables have different nutrients and benefits based on their color, so varying it each meal can help you get them all.

Identify the number of calories you need.

Each person’s calorie needs will be different, based on their present body weight, age, activity levels and goals. If you’re trying to lose weight, eating 3500 calories fewer will shed one pound. The easiest way to calculate your calorie needs is to eat for the weight you want to achieve. For building muscle tissue, make sure you include one gram of protein for every pound of body weight, a half gram of fat and the balance of your calories in carbs. People on a ketogenic diet to lose weight will need to keep carbs under 50 grams a day.

Don’t make your diet so strict or starve yourself.

One of the biggest reasons diets fail is that they’re too strict and have rules that make it impossible to follow. That’s why we focus more on eating healthy, than dieting. Actual dieting doesn’t work. The term, dieting, indicates a short term process and eating “special” food. Eating healthy is how we prefer to help our clients with their dietary needs. Healthy eating doesn’t require a lot of fuss. Choosing to fill your plate with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and cutting out sugar and processed food is a huge start to controlling calorie intake. You never fall off the diet wagon when you eat healthy, because you’re allowed some “otherwise forbidden” foods occasionally.

  • When you want to get the healthiest fresh fruit and vegetables, free from chemicals and pesticides, use the Clean Fifteen list to purchase those grown traditionally and the Dirty Dozen list for those that should be organic.
  • While calorie counting isn’t necessary if you’re eating healthy, portion control is. You’re allowed some cake once in a while, but that means a small piece of cake, not the whole cake.
  • If your protein source is meat, the way you make it is important. You should grill, broil, bake or boil it, never fry or deep fry it.
  • While exercise is very important, you can’t out-exercise a poor diet. Not only will you feel better, it helps you maintain your proper weight and boosts muscle building effort.

Questions You Should Ask Your Personal Trainer

Questions You Should Ask Your Personal Trainer

It’s important to have the best trainer to achieve your goals, especially since you’re putting in time and money to get results. There are questions you should ask your personal trainer to make certain that the effort you put in will get the results you want. Not all trainers are the same. Some have the top credentials and get results quickly, while others don’t. The first question you need to ask is about the trainer’s qualifications. What type of credentials does the trainer have and what certifications? Make sure those qualifications are respected in the field and that the trainer also keeps abreast of the latest research.

Find out if the trainer asks about your health and physical condition.

If you go to a trainer that doesn’t ask you any questions, but immediately has a workout program ready for you to start, run—don’t walk—away. Trainers need to know about your medical conditions, your present level of fitness, your goals and any special needs. All this information helps them create a program that’s difficult enough for you to see benefits, but is still within your physical capabilities. It won’t aggravate or tax any present physical problems and deals with limitations. It’s a program designed to address your specific goal, not a one-size-fits-all program.

See if the trainer provides more than just an exercise program.

Not all issues can be addressed with just exercise alone. In fact, diet is a key component to weight loss. Some issues, such as recovery from an injury, may require exercise to aid in building muscles to reduce the pain, but there are also complementary therapies, such as massage, that can speed the recovery. Find out if the trainer is certified to provide aid in other areas, besides exercise or works with other specialists that do.

Ask the trainer how often you’ll workout with him/her and whether there are options besides private sessions.

To get the full benefit of a workout program, you need to exercise at least three times a week with four times being ideal. While the trainer should be working directly with you as you learn each new exercise, once you learn a program, you don’t have to work with the trainer each time. A trainer that provides flexibility to help with your budget and even may provide small group training shows a willingness to meet both your physical and financial needs.

  • Find out how long before you’ll see results. The answer should be realistic, with some physical results evident after four to six weeks. The trainer may mention you’ll notice more energy after two to four weeks.
  • Ask the trainer how much he/she charges. This and any cancellation fees, payments up front and length of the agreement should be all laid out before you start working with the trainer.
  • Find out if the trainer has references, clients he’s worked with previously or is presently training. If the trainer needs to get the okay from clients first, all the better. It means he treats his relationship with them with confidentiality.
  • Ask about the type of program the trainer uses and type of exercises. Make sure it addresses all types of fitness, flexibility, endurance, strength and balance.

Telomeres? How They Affect Your Health And Aging

Client in our facility in Irvine, CA come here to make changes in their life that boost their health, slow the aging process and build their strength, endurance and flexibility. The pattern of healthy eating and exercising regularly positively impacts many different systems. One of those is the DNA and has to do with lengthening telomeres. If you don’t know what telomeres are, they act like aglets on shoelaces—those little plastic tips that prevent the shoelaces from unraveling. Only in the case of telomeres, they’re preventing the gene damage.

The chromosomes shorten every replication.

If there were no telomeres, cells would only be able to replicate a few times before there was DNA damage or the cells would die. However, instead of the chromosomes shortening, damaging the DNA, the telomeres shortens, so the rest of the chromosome remains intact. Luckily, the telomeres are the disposable part whose whole job is to protect the rest of the chromosome, allowing it to continually replicate without damage to maintain youth and good health.

Telomeres don’t just get shorter and then disappear.

If you want to live a long life, you definitely want long telomeres. However, the body is changing every day with new cells. We’re actually regenerating. While there’s a lot of estimates about getting a whole new body in a certain number of years, many scientists believe that some cells, like the heart cells, don’t replicate quickly, only about one percent per year. Aside from those slowly regenerating cells, there’s an estimate that it takes between 11 and 15 years to regenerate all the cells in the body. If you have longer telomeres, that regeneration takes place and you remain young and healthy. If they’re shorter, you either have damage at the cellular level and get disease or show signs of aging. You can do something to keep them longer.

You can lengthen your telomeres or prevent them from shortening.

If you had a car and the manufacturer said that all you had to do was put a certain type of oil in it and drive it over fifty miles an hour at least three times a week and it would last five, ten or twenty years longer, you’d do it wouldn’t you. That’s the same for your body and telomeres. Studies show you can do several things to lengthen the telomeres you have or slow the shortening process. Chronic stress, for instance, shortens telomeres, so eliminating the effects of stress helps keep them longer. Working out is the real stress buster as many of you know. Making sure you have exercise on a regular basis can help in other ways, too. In fact, studies show that people workout have longer telomeres and the more time spent exercising, the longer the telomeres were.

Scientists identify telomere growth by the amount of telomerase, an enzyme that lengthens telomeres. However, it lengthens the telomeres in both cancerous and healthy cells, so increasing it by chemical means could play havoc. Only by boosting all the systems, including the immune system, through lifestyle changes, can you have the best and healthiest outcome.

Learning meditation, yoga or some other relaxation technique can boost your telomere growth.

Eating healthy is also a way to encourage healthy telomere growth. One study showed a vegan diet and other lifestyle changes actually helped reverse the shortening of telomeres.

Foods that are high in nutrition and antioxidants are important. While you might take a supplement, it won’t provide all the phytonutrients that whole foods provide.


The Importance Of Angiogenesis

The Importance Of Angiogenesis

If you’re wondering what angiogenesis, all you have to do is break the word apart and identify the meaning of each part. Angio relates to the blood vessels and genesis is a suffix that means the beginning or development of something. Put them together and they mean the study of how blood vessels develop. Throughout your life, capillaries grow and diminish, based on the need at the time. If you have a wound, more capillaries grow to help it heal. That’s caused by a release of chemicals that induce the growth or splitting of blood vessels to create more.

When you don’t have enough blood vessels, you have a potential for heart disease.

Angiogenesis is neither bad nor good. If you have cancer, you have too many blood vessels being created, however, if you have heart disease, it may be because there’s not enough blood vessels being developed. The process needs to be balanced and when it gets out of whack, you have disease. That perfect balance makes it more difficult to treat. There are cancer treatments that block the development of blood vessels that feed the cancer, but stifling the growth of blood vessels too much can lead to other problems like valvular heart disease.

The dilemma continues, but what can you do.

I wouldn’t be a personal trainer if I didn’t believe in the positive and healing effects of a healthy diet and regular exercise. It’s not that I don’t believe in modern medicine and choose alternatives instead, but rather I believe the two can work together to boost the body’s health and maintain a more youthful body. One of the biggest problems with modern medicine is that everyone is different and has different needs. Dosage, specific medications and body chemicals are all different, too. It means there is no ONE magic bullet that works for every disease, even if it’s the same disease in a different person.

Until science finds a way to customize each and every treatment, you can help by making healthy lifestyle choices.

Ironically, increased angiogenesis not only can feed cancer, it can also cause obesity. When your body can’t cut out excess blood vessels or grow enough, it causes illness or negative changes in the body. Cancer cells require a blood source to survive, just as fat cells do. The more blood vessels you have, the more cancer cells can grow and the more fat you have. Eating the right foods can help get your body back to the perfect balance of producing enough to avoid stroke, heart disease and neuropathy, but not so many you have cancer, obesity, endometriosis and blindness.

  • Foods that help regulate angiogenesis by slowing the process include red grapes, green tea, kale, nutmeg, turmeric, parsley, berries of all kinds. garlic and artichokes.
  • Studies show that strawberries and red grapes can help inhibit abnormal angiogenesis. It’s the resveratrol in the grapes and ellagic acid in the strawberries that can inhibit abnormal growth by 60 percent or more.
  • The phytonutrients in food work in synergy to boost the effect of individual nutrients found in the each food.
  • The same foods that help prevent excessive angiogenesis, also promotes the appropriate development of blood vessels, making them good whether you have heart disease, cancer or any number of diseases caused by angiogenesis that’s out of balance.